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SLU Nursing Students Learn Terrorism Preparedness

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Student Erhi Ikanone dons a protective 'moon suit.' (KWMU photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Saint Louis University's nursing school has become one of the first in the nation to prepare its students to deal with terrorist attacks.

The new lessons come a year after SLU faculty traveled to Israel to learn disaster recovery techniques from medical personnel there.

During a public health nursing class Monday, student Erhi Ikanone tried on a moon suit designed to protect her from nuclear, chemical and biological material.

"Whether we like it or not, disaster nursing is something we're going to have to face again in the future," Ikanone said. "So it's a good idea for future nurses to be prepared for things of this sort."

Students also learned the basics of triage and decontamination.

Nursing professor Joanne Langan said teaching disaster preparedness is nothing new, but nurses now need to know about man-made as well as natural catastrophes.

"We were probably focused more focused on natural disasters before tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding," Langan said. "But that awareness of the manmade has to be brought to their attention."

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